The machine swallowed people whole: it took all they had and all they were for the glory of the Fatherland. A handful survived to be despised later, including your grandparents, you told me once. Old friend, don’t you realize that there are those who would bring it back?

I saw you on television yesterday, sleek and comfortable, working the room at some government party, oblivious to what’s happening outside your bubble. You are still not one of us; get out now, before you cease to be useful, and we come for you, too.

Alastair Millar is an archaeologist by training, a translator by trade and a nerd by nature. He lives north of Prague, Czech Republic, and enjoys good books, bad puns, and traveling. His short fiction has been published by the US Army TRADOC, 365tomorrows, The Write-In, Microfiction Monday Magazine, 101words, ScribesMICROFiction, and The Drabble, and he has been shortlisted in Tortive Theatre’s #flashfiction101 competition. Linktree: linktr.ee/alastairmillar. Twitter: @skriptorium. Instagram: @skriptorium.